Dinner Conversation: This is Not a Restaurant

Every night, the same play happens in thousands of households. This one has a plot twist; if they cook it they will eat it.

Act I

Child: “What’s for dinner?”

Mom (smiling): “Peanut Thai Noodles with Chicken”

Child: “Eeew! What else do you have? I don’t think I’ll like that.”

Act II

Mom (smile fading): “This is not a restaurant. Everyone eats what I make”

Child: “That’s not fair! When can I make dinner?!? Then everyone will have to eat what I cook.”

Mom (triumphant): “Well, then, tonight’s your lucky night!”

Slide over and let them drive. If you have a potato peeler and a chair to reach the counter, they can help you make this wonderful dish.

Peanut Butter and Chicken Noodles With Carrot and Cucumber Ribbons

From Real Simple, by Sara Quessenberry

Hands-On Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes    

Serves 4 


1 8-ounce package thin rice noodles or sticks

1 2-to 2½-pound rotisserie chicken

1 carrot

1 seedless cucumber

½ cup creamy peanut butter

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 


  1. Place the noodles into a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak until soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain in a colander or large strainer.
  2. Meanwhile, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones. Use a vegetable peeler to make long strips of carrot and cucumber.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce and 6 tablespoons water until smooth.
  4. Divide the noodles, chicken, carrot and cucumber among 4 bowls. Drizzle with the dressing.